years ago this April, Jill Robinson first walked onto a bear bile farm. On that day in April 1993, Jill could have walked away, but she chose to act and do what she could. Today, you also have a choice. If everyone reading this donated just US$20, it would pay for the care of over 150 bears at our China sanctuary for a full year. Please help us celebrate 20 years of progress. Donate US$20 today (or whatever you can afford).
Since 2007 our friends at ALERTIS (Fund for Bear & Nature Conservation) based in Holland have been raising funds and awareness for our Moon Bear Rescue campaign.
ALERTIS (www.alertis.nl) is engaged with the conservation of all eight bear species, conducting research projects and supporting nature conservation and educational projects in Bulgaria, Georgia, Croatia, Russian far East and Slovakia. In addition, Alertis supports projects in India and our very own Moon Bear Rescue in Vietnam.
ALERTIS run a sanctuary for rescued brown bears
The Bear Forest in Rhenen, is a two hectare semi-natural habitat, that is especially designed in such a way that visitors can view the bears from a relatively short distance without the bears being directly disturbed. The Forest serves as a shelter for mistreated and abused dancing bears, circus bears and other captive bears from mainly Eastern European countries. The bears that live in the Bear Forest are all European brown bears (Ursus arctos arctos) and up to 13 or 14 bears can occupy the forest, depending on how stable the group is at that given moment.
The 10 bears that currently live in the Bear Forest are from various countries, including Sweden, Georgia, Bosnia, Germany and the Russian Federation. These 10 bears are living proof of the success of this approach.
ALERTIS began a fundraising campaign for Animals Asia in 2007. At the beginning of October 2008, Alertis organised an event in the Bear Forest. The main goals were to raise awareness in The Netherlands, raise funds for the bear rescue centres in China and Vietnam and to get the Dutch Government to address their Asian colleagues on the problems that the bears face in China and Vietnam. During the event in the Bear Forest, world famous Dutch magician Hans Klok handed over a cheque of € 22,500 to Dave Neale, UK Director of Animals Asia Foundation. The funds will be used for the newly developed Moon bear rescue centre in Tam Dao and the rescue of the many bears from the bear farms in Vietnam. Dave gave a presentation at the end about Animals Asia, the bears and their fate which left a deep impression amongst the visitors.
As well as raising funds ALERTIS have collected over 30,000 signatures in support of ending bear farming and raised awareness within the Dutch media.
On December 16th Dave Neale (Animals Asia UK Director) joined the ALERTIS team led by Jose Kok (ALERTIS Director) to present these signatures to the Vice- Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs within the Dutch government at The Hague in Amsterdam.
The meeting went very well and the government representatives (from all major political parties in Holland) were very concerned with the bear farming situation and we are now talking with this group to encourage their further participation and help towards ending this industry once and for all.
Bears rescued from zoo in Georgia now safe at The Bear Forest’ sanctuary
Jose Kok presenting a scroll to Mr Alexander Pechtold (Vice-Chair of the Committee)
The ALERTIS team with the 30,000 signatures in bags at The Hague